There’s a theater company in town, Theatre Artists Studio, that does some of the best shows I’ve seen. It’s a member organization of some of the top actors, directors, and playwrights in town, most of them with major credentials, and they do a lot of original and experimental work, all of it, top shelf.
The problem is, most people have never heard of it.
I went to their fundraising gala yesterday, which included a show. The woman sitting next to me said, “This is wonderful! My husband and I came today with our friends, but I never even knew this place was existed! And I live two blocks away!”
When my son was little, I remember buying tickets months in advance to see the heavily advertised “Sesame Street on Roller Skates.” (Not sure if this was the exact name, but that’s what the show was). The production was held in a big, arena-type venue near Los Angeles, and completely sold out.
It was terrible. All of the music and dialogue were canned and blared through an echo-y sound system, while competent roller skaters in furry costumes went through their motions on stage. Even my son got bored midway through.
Getting there, parking, etc. – it was an all day event, not to mention the cost of tickets + food + souvenirs + parking.
It always amazes me where we devote our entertainment resources, when there’s so many wonderful places to go/people to see out there, not getting the attention.
I wish marketing weren’t so important, but it really is.